Anti-Depression

We have become a wasteful nation. We are quick to discard things, quick to rack up debt, and quick to feel like we have outgrown an item before we have even broken it in. We toss away the dinner leftovers because we get bored with them and pitch a shirt because it has lost a button.

Instead of learning the skills our parents or grandparents used to stretch a buck and make an item last, we feel like we deserve more. We pitch the item and charge our credit cards with the replacement.

But you know what we really need? Financial peace. Contentment with what we have. Freedom from the need to constantly upgrade. These are essential to survival.

Last time I wrote you, I shared some of my Grandparent’s methods for saving money during the Great Depression. The feedback was excellent, and deserves a follow-up with more ways to save money from survivors of the worst.

Reuse things, don’t throw them out. Grandpa always told me how during the depression that there was a shortage of tires. My grandpa and his brother would always go to the local landfill, and scour for old tires to repair and reuse. They always did what they needed to just get by.

Buy wholesale. Whether it was buying seed, flour, or parts, Grandpa always explained to me the benefits of buying wholesale, and how much money he’d save doing so. Grandpa spoke of how his parents would buy wholesale garden bulk items from town and store their large purchases in the attic.

Help your neighbors. The years of the Great Depression forced a lot of people to help their neighbors out. Frequently, neighbors would share the produce in their gardens, assist in field work, assist with repairs, and lend machinery to one another. These steps would help people save money and make it through the Great Depression.

Make goods yourself (versus paying retail). I saw how often my Grandpa and his brother would make their own hog troughs, modified wagon parts, or combine parts. By making parts themselves they’d typically save 50% off what the local implements or parts dealer would charge. It’s again another remind of how resourceful the Great Depression generation lived and another way they saved money.

Become allergic to debt. For most folks today, a chunk of their income goes toward paying interest on loans and credit cards. My grandparents always talked about how people got swamped by their debt payments as farmers headed into the Depression. As a result, a lot of farmers and families lost their farms due to this burden. In addition, Grandpa always talked about how certain folks would get swamped by credit cards, and how detestable that was. Grandpa always felt like debt was a disease or virus that needed to be avoided at all costs! He talked first-hand about how his Dad lost a farm due to too much debt. The bitter taste of debt remained with him his entire life.

Purchase, don’t rent. Grandpa always loved the pride of owning his own land, machinery, or car. He always talked about how renters are just making someone else rich. By purchasing things, then he could live debt free the last 40 years of his life. This philosophy helped save his family a lot of money over his 90+ years of life!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up around Great Depression relatives. I’d be interested in hearing how some of our readers witnessed their relatives save money as a result of the Great Depression. What money saving tips do you have to share?

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Frank Mitchell

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